#4 theoldmortuary ponders.

Yesterday evening was the first time for a few weeks that I was able to walk along the coastal path nearest to the swimming beach that the ‘bobbers’ prefer to use. The beaches and the coastal path beyond the Artillery Tower have been closed for essential maintenance. Although the path is now open, the steps and slopes that allow us to get into the water at high tide are being refurbished.

We often joke that our ‘free’ hobby is anything but free as we buy various bits of equipment to make winter swimming easier and safer to achieve. But for our local council maintaining the concrete against twice daily tides and winter storms must be a huge budgetary responsibility.

Looking at the amount of work that has been done I’m pretty grateful that my only responsibility before winter is to get a wetsuit. But for now October is still being kind to us.

©Debs Bobber

#3 theoldmortuary ponders

Long before I started a blog, I had a normal job in London. One of the places I would seek refuge, after a nights work, was The Townhouse, Spitalfields. Home made cake and coffee embellished by the Townhouse itself always slowed the busy pace of London down to something more manageable. The link below describes the Townhouse far more comprehensively than I ever could.

Town House Spitalfields

There was serendipity at work when one of my favourite blog writers, The Gentle Author offered blog writing courses based at The Townhouse.

Returning this weekend for a second writing course with The Gentle Author was a treat, both visual and experiential. In between learning and enjoying wonderful food I hopped around like an overactive magpie gathering photographic trinkets for future blog use. It helped that bright autumnal sunshine barged its way into the corners and recesses of the early Georgian building, making everything a little more magical.

Taking magic to a different place was the bathroom we used this weekend.

And the kitchen where refreshments were served.


The link above takes you to the Townhouse website. I”m sure this will not be the last blog I write about this gorgeous building.

#2 theoldmortuary ponders

I could be in complete denial that autumn is in full glory this morning. The trees outside my room are uniformly green. Yesterday was bright and sunny and the street markets I explored were still selling whisps of dresses in bright sunshine. It is all a bit of trickery, the trees rustle with squirrels busy stockpiling seeds and acorns and market traders need to sell summer stock to empty their warehouses for heavier winter clothes.

Likewise, in denial, this beautiful assemblage of coloured- glass, domestic objects and a tea strainer, twinkle in bright sunlight against a robustly healthy Banana tree.

More trickery of course. The banana tree lives in a micro climate. Surrounded on all sides by tall, Georgian town houses that protect it from harsh easterly winds that whip the east of England and blow up the Thames estuary, burning delicate foliage at first touch.

Attending a writing course is a lot like trickery and microclimates. The conclave ( secret meeting) format relaxes absolute strangers into shared and deeper mental intimacy; providing a fertile literary microclimate to explore and evolve writing styles and to sort out the dry areas in our creativity.

The beauty of attending face to face meetings again is that we can be experimental and risky away from our domestic environment. The sights, sounds and smells around Spitalfields are so stimulating, the architecture spans centuries and the people are from every corner of the world. Every course member walks into the writing room with some new common layers of sensation sprinkled on to their existing diverse life experiences. Advanced blog writing was a blast this weekend, thanks to everyone who shared it. You know who you are.

#1 theoldmortuary ponders.

A weekend away on a blogging course and a little rebranding. Moving on from Pandemic Pondering as the world moves from Pandemic to Endemic @theoldmortuary will be pondering at large. My walk from Spitalfields to  Islington yesterday evening gave me the gift of this totally apporopriate sign.

There is an agreement within our blogging group that the course and its goings on are in the form of a conclave. While sticking very happily to those restictions I’m almost certain to natter on about the course in the future but not about the attendees or the contents. The venue is one of my favourite spaces in London and is always inspirational so talking about the course while not being explicit is easy.

There are 12 bottoms.

©Pádraig Macmiadháchain @Spitalfields Townhouse

Occupying 12 seats.

We talk about our blogs and how we would like to allow them to evolve and improve. Refreshment and blogging nattering occur over beautiful food.

Right now I’m on my way back for Day 2. Have a fabulous Sunday.

Pandemic Pondering #569

The weather, very kindly gave me a fine illustration for this weekends blogging journey. An open road with just enough fog to make the near future unclear. I’m heading off to the Advanced Blogging course run by The Gentle Author. Last night my dog walk on Wimbledon Common was damp and boggy underfoot but the evening sky also provided some blog embellishments.

Daily blogging into infinite was never my original plan but a Global Pandemic has blown a hole in lots of original plans.

Have a fabulous weekend. I’m off to Brick Lane for a brain enriching bagel before the course starts.

Pandemic Pondering #567

Yesterday was a strange one, Autumn has certainly arrived. The sea temperature and air temperature were equal, both at 14 degrees. The evening bob felt completely fine but we may have stayed in the water too long as we felt the effects of afterdrop for the first time in about 5 months. Afterdrop is the effect of body temperature continuing to drop after leaving the water. Hot drinks, brisk changing and lots of layers help to minimise the effects but we’ve got used to leisurely chats after swimming and not being too fussed about layers or bringing hot drinks. Time to take sensible precautions again. The word Christmas was mentioned!

A Christmas day morning bob is looking likely for this year.

On our walk to the beach we passed this glorious Virginia Creeper and Hop combination on a wall. A sure sign Autumn has arrived and is settling in for a few months.

Another crochet painting emerged from my new painting space in the garage. The paintings are stacking up in the studio ready to have their fine details and finishing done in the warmth of the indoor studio. Such luxury!

Pandemic Pondering #566

You might think that a day spent pondering the interior decoration of two rooms would be a day without incident.

The new house is a few minutes walk from a street filled with repair garages, workshops and Trade Counters for various essential items to the marine and building trades.

Armed with a fair idea of what we needed we went to one of the Trade shops for decorators needs. There was an instant, underlying hum of manliness as we walked in. There were few other customers in the store, all men. Their fleeces told the stories of their masculinity. ‘Babcock’ only needs a small wrinkle of fabric before it looks like Bob cock. Some men wore t-shirts bearing the name Princess Yachts. The word Princess stretched across impossibly toned trapezius, deltoid and pectoral muscles. A sure warning that calling the owner ‘Princess’ might be ill advised.

We were left to our own devices and without too much trouble made our decisions and gathered up our purchases. We waited some time at the counter. Tea was being made for all the customers, not quite all of course. Tea was made for the fleece and t-shirt wearing men! We did not register on anyone’s tea radar. Tea arrived in bright mugs bearing the names of English football clubs. The talk was of standing at football matches and the exact opposite of standing, clearing slime off slipways.

The conversations ranged around and over me. Then one of the men asked my opinion on a product I was buying.

Did I think it was any good, and could he use it to paint body parts. What was I planning to use it for?

Horror flooded my mind, the idea of painting any body part with noxious paint seemed like madness. I suggested that it would be a bad idea. He looked at me as if I was a little crazy, a look that only intensified when I told him I was painting crochet. His mind fixed firmly on the industrial and mine on the creative.

We returned home, made our own tea and started using our various purchases. Then a text message came through for a last minute ‘ bob’ in the sea. A birthday bob for a visiting bobber. Even this simple activity took a turn!

So far so good, a birthday bob achieved.

How to make a birthday bob memorable?

For the moment access to our beach is blocked by essential works. The only access is via the grounds of a rest home and convent. Unknown to us there is a curfew on using this route. Our birthday bob was ended by us being seen off the premises. Being thrown out of a convent is a pretty unusual way to mark a birthday.

This birthday photo was taken with the photographer using a normal word to make us all smile.
This photo was taken with the photographer using a word that would make a nun blush.

A day of unexpected outcomes!

Pandemic Pondering #567

This was yesterday morning as we left the coàst. Today has started in much the same sunny way.

In between we have been drenched by monster showers in both the home and away locations. The sun is particularly welcome today as we wrestle with wallpaper and paint decisions and generally plan on doing fairly dull stuff. Who needs sun for camping and coastal adventures! We starved ourselves yesterday ready for an afternoon outing with some friends. It is a reflection of our hunger and not the quality of the comestibles that brings the blog to the sorry state of having no pictures. A shocking state of affairs when offered such a pretty range of sweet and savoury treats. Afternoon tea will be represented on this blog only by the left overs that we brought home. How slack is that!

Pandemic Pondering #565

We lived in Cornwall long enough to never quite trust a weather forecast fully.

Even through the curtains it was easy to see that the forecast was a little out of synch with local conditions.

Even our prediction of being without family on this beach was a bit flawed.

Our little granddaughter took a tumble in Hong Kong and needed an overnight stay in hospital so we took a good number of phone calls while enjoying the non rain. So some definite family time was had.

This morning the news from Hong Kong is better and the weather is also doing a fine job of putting a brave face on the situation. A good start to Monday.